Cataracts: care, treatment, and vision improvement

Vision. Perhaps the most important of our senses. In recognition of that I would like to give you some important information about what cataracts are, how you might know if it is affecting you or someone you love, and some cutting edge treatment options.

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is the hardening and clouding of the eye’s natural lens, one of the eye’s primary focusing mechanisms. When cataracts occur, the sharp images and bright colors that you have always enjoyed may become blurry and dull. The quality of your night vision also decreases, and you may notice glare and halos around lights. When cataracts develop, you may also become more dependent on glasses or bifocals.

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

Hazy, blurred vision

Diminished visual acuity and poor vision quality

Glare or halos around lights, especially at night

Dull colors

Increased dependence on glasses

What causes cataracts?

Many factors are involved in the development of cataracts. Exposure to UV rays, exposure to environmental pollutants, use of steroid medications, and uncontrolled diabetes are only a few of the known causes of cataracts. The development of cataracts may also be the result of the natural aging process. Statistics show that 20.5 million older Americans suffer from cataracts, and 50% of older adults will develop cataracts by the age of 60.

How do you treat cataracts?

In recent years, much advancement has been made in the science of cataract treatment. Sometimes, a doctor may choose to treat cataracts with glasses. However, when cataracts interfere with the quality of your life and your vision, your doctor may recommend implantable intraocular lenses (IOL) as a treatment option. These biocompatible, artificial lenses are inserted into your eye to replace your cloudy, hardened natural lens. In the lens replacement procedure, your surgeon will first dissolve and remove your natural, cloudy lens through a process called phacoemulsification. Then, your surgeon will replace your natural lens with an IOL. The procedure is fast and painless, and it is performed on an out-patient basis in our local surgical center. Most patients return to their normal activities in the days following the procedure.

What is a Premium Lens?

Premium intraocular lenses (IOL’s) are an advanced new option for patients who wish to reduce or eliminate their increased dependence on glasses or contact lenses due to cataracts or presbyopia. Premium IOL’s correct a full range of functional vision, so recipients can see at near, intermediate and distant intervals without the constant burden of glasses or contacts.

What is Bladefree Surgery?

New bladefree cataract surgery allows your Doctor to perform cataract surgery more safely and effectively by using a beam of light instead of a blade. The laser helps your Doctor to align your cataract surgery in three dimensions for the more precise and repeatable results. Additionally, your Doctor may be able to correct your astigmatism using laser guided technology. To determine the most effective cataract treatment for you, your Doctor should perform a thorough examination of all aspects of your eyes and advise you on the best method of care.